- I’m 23 years old and my fiancé and I moved into my dad’s house two years ago.
- At first, I was worried that I made the wrong decision by moving back home after college.
- But I’m glad I decided to live with my dad and it’s actually ideal for my current situation.
Yes, I am one of the 15% of 25- to 35-year-old millennials who lives with my parent.
It’s easy to look at my life, especially from an outsider’s perspective, and assume that I’m far from having it together. And although that’s partially true for many reasons, I’ve finally come to the personal conclusion that my living situation isn’t responsible for my life not being totally together. Plus, who actually has their life 100% together, anyway?
I graduated from college in 2017 – two terribly long, yet terrifyingly short years ago. And on top of the typical looming concerns of most college graduates to-be like finding a job and passing my final finals, in the back of my head I wondered, “Where the heck am I going to be living in just a few short weeks?”
At the time, I wasn’t sure if a job was going to take me out of state (and if it did, how I was going to pay for it?) or if I was going to return to my hometown. Growing up, I pretty much exclusively lived with my mum. My parents were separated before I was born and I saw my dad just a few times a year. But since I moved to college, my mum and siblings downsized and … well, there was a couch if I wanted it.
For a second there, I felt like a bit of a nomad – an uprooted wanderer of sorts. Not in a betrayed way, but in an exploratory one.
I thought about taking the plunge and moving to New York City on pocket change
Ultimately, I decided to stay home and save money first, so moving home required a phone call to my dad. I should mention that my then-boyfriend (now fiancé) and I were celebrating the possibility of finally living together after travelling hours to see each other on weekends for four years. I pretty much wasn’t going anywhere without him.
And that’s when the stars aligned. My dad was closing on a divorce from my step-mum, my brother was moving off to college, and my little sister would only be spending half of her time at his house, per his new co-parenting schedule. That meant he had a mostly empty house and an open invitation for both me and my fiancé to move in.
I understand that’s not an invitation everyone would get from their dad, and for that, I’ll be forever grateful. Since my dad and I didn’t spend a lot of time together as I was growing up, we both saw it as an opportunity to make up for the time we had lost.
Fast forward those two strange years and we’re still sleeping in my childhood bedroom
I keep meaning to peel those glow-in-the-dark stars off of the ceiling, but circa-2000 sticky tack is a ruthless power I haven’t had the energy to combat.
Has it been a flawless experience? Absolutely not. At first, it felt super weird. I can’t imagine what the adjustment felt like for my fiancé, but he powered through it like a champ. Not everything is perfect – the eggs aren’t where I’d put them in the fridge and sometimes the washing machine is occupied when I have one pair of clean underwear left. And when my brother returns home for holiday breaks, the chances for sibling arguments increase.
At first, it was frustrating. I muttered, “I can’t wait to move out,” under my breath more times than I can count. And, sometimes, I still do. But ultimately, I see this all as an experience that has taught me not to sweat the small stuff.
And I’m not alone in this attitude, according to Pew Research Center, more and more millennials are living with their parents and for longer stretches than generations previous.
That’s not to say we plan on living here forever, because we most certainly don’t
We’re just taking advantage of the opportunity to save money, get married, travel, and spend quality time with family before we’re off to the next adventure. Society places immense pressure on 20-somethings to move out on their own right after college and jump into a traditional nine to five, and in my opinion, it shouldn’t be that way.
There’s so much more to life than four walls and a roof, and if you have the opportunity to take advantage of it, you should. I know not everyone has the privilege to do so. But I also know that having to buy extra underwear now and then is totally worth it … for now.
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